1901 Clarence Alhart


In 1903 Harvey B Carlton (Rochester, NY) was a rich man. He had just sold valuable rights to photographic inventions over to George Eastman of Kodak. With money to burn, manufacturing & merchandizing experience and time on his hands, Harvey went looking for new products to bring to market. Clarence Alhart had some great ideas...

Sure, his fishing reels are still prized treasures among master anglers but we are more interested in Clarence Alhart's ingenious little invention (1901 Soap Bubble Blower US 688376).

Advertising in THE YOUTH'S COMPANION magazine through the months of 1904 (illustration below) shows an interesting battle(?) over control of distribution of this toy. Maybe at first Alhart thought it was a good deal to contract with Carleton to manufacture the product. I suspect after some wrangling over royalty payments and glimpses of potential earnings Alhart tried to wrestle back control and proprietary association of distributorship of this invention. Especially after the toy was redesigned into a much better form (1902 Soap Bubble Blower US 697063) and THAT patent had both Alhart & Carlton as co-assignees.


Patented December 10, 1901

10 Cents. Just out.

The greatest Bubble Blower ever invented. It requires no dipping. One filling producing from 1000 to 1500 bubbles. From ten to fifty Bubbles can be in the air at one time. Can be carried in the pocket and always ready for use, giving never ending source of innocent and healthful amusement. Fills like a fountain pen.

The Bubble Blower is a toy, Enjoyed by every Girl and Boy; Even Elders forget their troubles, Once they use it "Blowin' Bubbles"

Will be mailed to any address upon receipt of 10 cts. in coin or postage-stamps. Address, CONTINUOUS BUBBLE BLOWER COMPANY, 35Exchange Street, Rochester, N.Y.

Similar designs were produced for many years

"A Bubble Blower that is shaped like a cigar and the fills like a fountain pen eliminates the muss and trouble encountered with the common blower. After the little vile shown in the illustration is partly filled, hundreds of bubbles may be blown without further trouble. The blower is a source of great amusement to children, and mothers like it because it does not drip the suds. The youngsters will doubtless regard it as being as superior to the ordinary bubble-blower as a Perfecto Pipe." 1916 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

This No-Dip design really works & is easy to test-build for yourself.

Give it a try.

I bought one of these at auction and was amazed at how well the next generation design worked. The trouble was the cork was dried and broken. After remaking a cork for the bubbler I figured maybe I could redo a version of the design using modern materials. Rather than a cigar shape, how about a Sharpie?

Similar design ideas, much later: 1920 Whitman patent in Canada. 1921 Dorris patent in US.